Gurdon P. Randall

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University Hall at Northwestern University
Benton County Courthouse, Fowler, Indiana

Gurdon P. Randall (1821–1884)[1] was an architect in Chicago, Illinois. Early in his career, he studied in Boston, Massachusetts, in the office of Asher Benjamin. He moved to Chicago when he was 30, and practiced there for 34 years, focusing on large institutional architecture.[2] He designed a number of notable buildings, including several that survive and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[3]


Gurdon P. Randall was born in Braintree, Vermont on February 18, 1821. He attended public school and assisted his father in lumbering and carpentry. Randall married Louisa Caroline Drew on January 31, 1842. When he was twenty-two, Randall moved to Boston, Massachusetts to practice architecture with Asher Benjamin. Randall specialized in railroad buildings, designing many of the structures on the Vermont Central and Rutland & Burlington lines. In 1850, he moved to Syracuse, New York, practicing for another six years.[4]

In 1856, he moved west to Chicago, Illinois. There, he focused on designing public buildings such as county courthouses and churches. Major commissions in the Chicago area included University Hall at Northwestern University, Union Park Congregational Church, Eighth Presbyterian Church, and Plymouth Church. He also designed plans for the Theological Seminary of the Northwest and the original University of Saint Mary's of the Lake. Many of his Chicago works were destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire on 1871. Outside of the Chicago area, Randall also designed some of the first buildings at The State Normal University in Bloomington, Illinois; the Minnesota State Normal School in Winona, Minnesota; and the Whitewater Normal School in Whitewater, Wisconsin.[4] He died on September 20, 1884.


Works include:


  1. ^ Fife, Camille (June 8, 2007). "National Register of Historic Places: Nomination Form, Benton County Courthouse" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-02-17. 
  2. ^ "Architect History". First Baptist Congregational Church. Retrieved 2013-02-17. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  4. ^ a b Biographical Sketches of the Leading Men of Chicago. Chicago, IL: Wilson & St. Clair. 1868. pp. 326–330. 
  5. ^ "Building View, Northwestern Architecture, Northwestern University Library". Retrieved 12 October 2017. 
  6. ^ "Archival Image & Media Collection". Retrieved 12 October 2017. 
  7. ^ "Plymouth Congregational Church :: Archival Image & Media Collection". Retrieved 12 October 2017. 
  8. ^ "Union Park Congregational Church :: Archival Image & Media Collection". Retrieved 12 October 2017.